HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- ABC13, Houston's news leader, hosted a one-hour town hall Thursday, Dec. 17 (7-8 p.m.), explaining the latest developments on the COVID-19 vaccine and what it all means for those living in southeast Texas.
Eyewitness News reporter Marla Carter gathered leaders from the medical community to highlight recent decisions by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the latest on the Texas COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, and to answer your questions about getting vaccinated.
Panelists for the town hall included:
- Bill McKeon, Texas Medical Center president and CEO
- Dr. David Persse, Houston Health Authority
- Dr. Mandy Hill, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
- Dr. Pedro Piedra, Baylor College of Medicine
- Dr. Umair Shah, Harris County Public Health
- Christene Kimmel, Moderna vaccine trial participant
The town hall also included Dr. Shah's final message as Harris County Public Health authority. Friday is Shah's final day on the job after being named Washington state's next secretary of health under Gov. Jay Inslee.
Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas will receive 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through December, with increased allotments expected in January and subsequent months.
On Dec. 10, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for drug maker Pfizer's vaccine.
Of the 109 Texas hospitals receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 27 are in the greater Houston area. The Texas Department of State Health Services said the initial supply will be limited to protecting frontline health care workers.
The Houston Health Department said first responders can also get the vaccine as part of the distribution plan developed by federal agencies and the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, created by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
FDA advisers will meet Thursday to consider whether to grant emergency use authorizations for Moderna's vaccine.